China degree of the day

by on November 6, 2017 at 1:42 am in Education, Sports, Web/Tech | Permalink

Competitive video game tournaments enjoy a huge following in China, and now, 18-year-old Feng is among 60 students enrolled in the country’s first-ever college program specializing in esports.

Last year was a landmark year in the world of esports. In September, “esports and management” was added to the Ministry of Education’s list of permitted college majors. Three months later, the Communication University of China, Nanguang College, in Nanjing announced the launch of its own esports-related degree: Art and Technology (Esports Analysis), a four-year undergraduate program teaching event organizing, data analysis, gaming psychology, video content production, and esports team coaching. According to the school, graduates can expect to carve out careers in China’s booming esports industry as tournament organizers, online show producers, commentators, strategy analysts, and club managers.

Here is the full story, from the consistently interesting Sixth Tone. And note:

Staffordshire University in the U.K. will offer an undergraduate esports program starting in September 2018, while a number of U.S. colleges now provide esports scholarships for talented gamers.

Just don’t tax their tuition waivers!

1 So Much For Subtlety November 6, 2017 at 4:27 am

So the West is exporting its model of useless university degrees to China? The fools are copying us?

Somehow I think that a Masters degree in interpretive puppetry is more affordable for America than an undergraduate degree in this nonsense is for China.

Also, perhaps connected, the Chinese government has just announced that rehab boot camps for Chinese boys suffering internet addiction are not allowed to use electro-shock therapy.

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2 Arnold Layned November 6, 2017 at 7:18 am

Not quite as useless as interpretive puppetry 🙂 It sounds like an event management degree, with a focus on e-sports.

The U.S. is still far ahead of the rest of the world in diluting the value of its college degrees by giving “scholar”ships to non-scholars in pursuit of atheletic pissing contests. It seems we’re continuing this with “e-sports scholarships for talented gamers.” As long as masses continue to confuse atheltic prowess with academic strength, the strategy will work. Maybe the addition of e-sports will finally end the illusion, and we’ll stop diverting so much money and attention to the pursuit of head injury and career-ending tendon tears.

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3 Homeros November 6, 2017 at 10:12 pm

100 players earned over half a million last year.

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4 Careless November 7, 2017 at 12:38 am

I wonder how long that career can last. Not talking about the industry, I mean in terms of players aging out

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5 rayward November 6, 2017 at 7:23 am

While a degree in esports may seem silly, take a look at the list of majors offered student athletes at U.S. colleges and universities. Besides, esports is becoming big business, and somebody has to know how to operate them; thus, degree programs in esports. By comparison, many of the degree programs offered student athletes at U.S. colleges and universities seem like a waste of everybody’s time and the schools’ resources. Of course, that ignores the very big business that is college sports, which isn’t possible absent the student athletes for whom the seemingly wasteful degree programs are offered. It’s economics.

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6 chuck martel November 6, 2017 at 9:52 am

A more interesting article on the same website, “Chinese messaging app WeChat has apologized for an error in its algorithm that provided the N-word as a translation for a neutral Chinese term for black foreigners.” http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1000991/wechat-apologizes-for-translating-black-foreigner-as-n-word

“James, who recently played a role in the Chinese blockbuster “Wolf Warrior 2,” found the translation issue disheartening but unsurprising. “If you’re a black person in China, you’ve come up against some craziness,” she says, explaining that she was often touched and photographed in public without her consent even before her film appearance.” If you’re in public, you can be photographed without permission. It’s also quite possible that touching another person is a normal thing in China. Maybe James should become more accustomed to differences from her own culture, rather than referring to it as “craziness”.

““I know there’s a lot of curiosity and a lot of ignorance about black people [in China],” said James, who was quick to emphasize that she loves the country she’s called home for five years. “I just think that we need to have more open discussion between Chinese people and black people.” With what black people are the Chinese people to have this discussion? Couldn’t she make the very same statement about Eskimos or Maoris?

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7 Philippe Saner November 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

“With what black people are the Chinese people to have this discussion?”

Ann James lives in China. She’s black. When she talks about discussion between Chinese people and black people, she’s talking about her actual life.

And on a related note, I think the accusation of cultural insensitivity you made is pretty rich. She’s describing being treated like a spectacle simply for her skin colour, and it’s totally reasonable for her to call that craziness. I know a very tall man of Dutch descent who got similar treatment in China and he talked about it more or less the same way.

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8 chuck martel November 6, 2017 at 1:17 pm

The whole point is that it’s very unlikely that the average Chinese has ever personally had the opportunity to meet a black, except of course for the acquaintances of James. Perhaps in your neighborhood people would pretend not to see a giraffe walking down the sidewalk or a person with facial tattoos but not everyone is that self-composed. I’ll bet lone Chinese in African towns get more than their share of attention.

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9 Philippe Saner November 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm

I think you’re making her point for her.

People generally don’t like to be treated like giraffes; if anything, she’s being unusually understanding about the situation.

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10 fedup November 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

It is easy for the naive to blame the mechanistic translation by AI and forget that the problems lay on the root sources and places of the English language corpora used. A British based corpora might not have this problem but could have other peculiar properties. https://nlp.stanford.edu/links/statnlp.html

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11 harpersnotes November 6, 2017 at 10:07 am

Scenario: eSports will funnel massive amounts of information into Generative Adversarial Networks A.I. systems allowing more and better game-theoretic simulations of stock markets, global economies, local politics, human psychology, and more -Eventually making most of the other majors mostly obsolete. Think of this as Miller’s 2012 The Smartphone Psychology Manifesto as second generation on steroids. (Admittedly an extreme hypothetical scenario but sometimes defining the extremes helps calibrate where the most likely developmental trajectories might lie.)

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12 Alan M November 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm

eSports is exploding in popularity, whether old folks like it or not. There’s a lot of money to be made there as the industry grows. If we have useless degrees in physical sport topics, may as well have useless degrees in eSports as well.

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13 chuck martel November 6, 2017 at 1:18 pm

eSports is probably at the root of the declining popularity of the NFL.

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14 Bill November 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm

These students are exposing themselves

To serious wrist injuries and carpal tunnel disease.

Playstations should come with warning labels.

We need to regulate this and require they play no more than 20 hours per day.

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15 Bill November 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm

I am getting an online MBA degree in e-sports management.

I plan to coach and am offering my services to Big Ten Universities for big bucks.

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16 RafaelR November 7, 2017 at 1:41 am

That’s China getting ahead of the west for ya. China leads the world in the sports of the future. In 20 years Chinese gamers will dominate sports (in general) to a greater degree than the West dominates olympic sports.

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17 chuck martel November 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

Even now the Chinese lead most parts of the world in the ability to eat with chopsticks. Nobody seems to care. It’ll be the same with esports.

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18 Rafael R November 7, 2017 at 3:29 pm

I didn’t know there were chopstick eating competitions.

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